In 1986 Greg LeMond aka “LeMonster” became the first non-European to win le Tour de France. Interestingly, he is now also the only American to have ever won the event due to Armstrong and Floyd Landis’ disqualifications.
But it is the 1989 victory that is oh so historic. Before the 1989 Tour de France it was rumoured that he would retire shortly after. He was not in good form coming into the event despite somehow managing second in the preceding Giro d’Italia.
He was hoping to finish top 20, and perhaps it was this lack of expectation, and therefore pressure, that gave him the edge. As the Tour progressed Greg LeMond seemed to ride himself into better form. Coming into the final Time Trial the rival and leader had a 50 second advantage – a time gap that seemed impossible to overcome.
Armed with a rear disc wheel, cut down helmet, some TT bars and the desire to go flat out and hurt himself beyond belief… he won the Time Trial by 58 seconds to claim the victory. Not only that, but his blistering average pace of 54.545 km/h is still one of the fastest Time Trials on record.
He went on to win the 1990 Tour de France too.